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Pedri on Lionel Messi & his dream World Cup final opponents

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Barcelona and Spain starlet Pedri has claimed that he wants to face off against Lionel Messi and Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final.

Spain and Argentina are widely expected to reach the latter stages of the tournament in Qatar this winter, with the latter being unbeaten in 36 games while the former are coached by arguably the most accomplished manager at the tournament (Luis Enrique).

David Goldblatt & Katie Rood join Shebahn Aherne to have football’s climate conversation about the World Cup in Qatar!

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Speaking to EFE ahead of Spain’s first game against Costa Rica in Group E, Pedri said that he is keen to face off against Argentina in the final: “Messi’s Argentina. I would like a Spain – Argentina final at the World Cup. I want to play against Leo, I have never played against him. It would be great.

“Messi used to give us advice on how to be calm during matches. He always told us to feel free on the pitch.

“Messi is the best player I have ever seen. To have had the chance to play with him is an honour. He always had a great attitude towards me and treated me very well from the moment I met him.”

Pedri was also asked about Karim Benzema’s absence from the tournament after the Real Madrid man left the France camp with an injury on Saturday: “Benzema is a world class player with a lot of quality, especially off the ball. Very few players can do what he does. It’s a blow for football fans that a player like him will miss the World Cup.

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Club America sign defender Israel Reyes from Puebla

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Club America has finally signed defender Israel Reyes from Club Puebla.

He stands as the team’s first reinforcement ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura, joining on a four-year contract.  The Mexico City team reportedly paid $4.5M for Reyes, after he established himself as one of the most promising defenders in the Mexican league.

Reyes kicked off his professional career with Atlas in 2019, before quickly securing a loan deal to Puebla. After 19 games with the Franja, the team exercised his purchase option to make Reyes a staple of the backline. 

But it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout in the Mexican league. The 22-year-old managed three goals in 17 games of the 2022 Apertura, inspiring Puebla to eighth place in the regular season and the Liguilla quarterfinals. 

Overall, he recorded six goals in 76 appearances with Puebla before joining Club America.

Internationally, the player holds one cap with the Mexican national team. He made his debut on December 8, 2021, coming on as a substitute in the 68th minute of a friendly against Chile.

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

On Sunday, England and Senegal, their opponents in the last-16 of the World Cup, square off at Al Bayt Stadium in a battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Three Lions take on the Lions of Teranga, who advanced to the knockout stages thanks to a crucial intervention from their captain, in a first-ever meeting after Gareth Southgate’s team defeated Wales to win Group B.

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Kylian Mbappe matches Lionel Messi World Cup goalscoring record

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France’s 3-1 win over Poland in the 2022 FIFA World Cup knockout rounds was a historic one for Les Bleus.

Olivier Giroud became the nation’s all-time male top goalscorer with his first half strike, Hugo Lloris became the joint highest appearance maker in France’s history, Antoine Griezmann broke the record for most consecutive appearances for Les Bleus, and the young Kylian Mbappe wrote some history of his own.

The 23-year-old broke Pele’s record for most goals at World Cups before the age of 24 with his stunning second half brace, bested Diego Maradona and Cristiano Ronaldo’s eight goals at World Cups, and went joint level with Lionel Messi with nine.

The most astonishing thing about these nine goals is that they’ve been scored in just 11 tournament appearances.

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It took Lionel Messi 23 games in five World Cups to reach that figure, while the only four players to have scored nine World Cup goals in less games are Eusebio (6), Ademir (6), Christian Vieri (9) and Vava (10).

Mbappe’s current goals per game record at the tournament is in fact even better than the legendary R9 Ronaldo’s – with Ronaldo having averaged 0.79 goals per game while Mbappe is averaging 0.82.

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At just 23 years old, the PSG star has already won the World Cup, becoming the second ever teenager to score in the final – after Pele – and his form in Qatar has made the holders one of the favourites to win the trophy once again.

Harry Symeou hosts Andy Headspeath, Toby Cudworth & La Liga TV presenter Semra Hunter to look back on the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click to download or listen to the episode in full!





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